Denver – July 24, 2017 – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today announced that Janette Heung will serve as the new deputy director for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), effective Aug. 10, 2017.
“Janette is joining us at an exciting time with record growth for our outdoor recreation industry, and she’s just the person to help take us to the next level,” said Luis Benitez, OREC director. “We are thrilled to have her experience and knowledge on our team.”
In her new role as the deputy director, Heung will support economic development within the industry, work to build a dynamic workforce, advance conservation and stewardship, and encourage the intersection with public health and wellness in the sector. She will also develop new initiatives to further Colorado’s outdoor recreation growth. The position manages day-to-day operations of the office and serves as a liaison in the community.
“Colorado is rapidly becoming the epicenter of the outdoor recreation industry,” Heung said. “I’m tremendously excited for the opportunities that lie ahead”.
Heung was born in the US, but grew up in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong. Returning to study as an adult, she soon became mesmerized by the wildness of the North American continent. She experienced her first winters in New England during school, and eventually followed the call of winter to Alaska, the Alps, and the Andes. When she discovered Colorado and its outdoor recreation community, she immediately relocated here and started adventuring at an extraordinarily high level.
Many classic alpine mountaineering routes in the US and Canadian Rockies followed, and she has managed to complete first ascents in New Zealand and Bolivia, including on the south face of Mount Aspiring in New Zealand.
“Janette’s love for the outdoors directly feeds into her zeal for protecting it-when she’s not exploring outside, she is working on a range of environmental policy, public health and business challenges,” said Benitez. “She is a real asset to our office and the State of Colorado.”
Before accepting the deputy director role she was a consultant who specialized in strategic planning and program management with a focus on conservation and health. Throughout her career, she has consulted for public, private, and non-profit sector clients, including Fortune 500 companies, the City and County of Denver, and The Nature Conservancy. Previously, she was a senior management consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the greater Washington DC area.
Heung is the also co-founder of Unleashed, a winter climbing community event that features storytelling by community champions with the proceeds supping outdoor education non-profits. Heung holds bachelor degrees in physics and biomedical engineering from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Environmental Health from Harvard University.
Outdoor Recreation is a booming industry in Colorado with $34 billion in consumer spending and $994 million in state and local tax revenue. The industry provides 350k jobs with earnings of more than $4 million. Over 80% of Coloradans participate in trail-related activities on a regular basis according to the 2014 Scope Report.
Governor John Hickenlooper launched the OREC office in 2015. OREC is one of only three offices in the nation that provides a central point of contact, advocacy, resources and support at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, communities and groups that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation industry.
The OREC office is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.